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Herger, Brown-Waite, Reichert Criticize AARP for Putting Political Self-Interest Over Seniors

October 26, 2009

Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA), Ranking Member of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health, was joined by Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) in questioning the political self-interests of AARP’s endorsement of legislation that will result in significant Medicare cuts for seniors.  They addressed these concerns in a letter to AARP CEO Barry Rand:

Congressman Herger said, “I am deeply concerned by AARP’s willingness to turn a blind eye to the harmful impact the Democrats’ health ‘reform’ legislation could have on America’s seniors.  AARP continues to claim that the half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts won’t hurt seniors’ Medicare benefits or pocketbooks, yet their corporate partners and independent government officials say the exact opposite.  The fact is seniors could face drastic benefit cuts and premium increases.  AARP has spent millions of dollars to run advertisements in support of the Democrats’ bill and, in doing so, has taken a position that conflicts with the interests of America’s seniors.  AARP should be fighting to protect seniors from this raid on Medicare and arming them with the facts instead of focusing on its own political interests in Washington.”

Congresswoman Brown-Waite added, “It’s more than just ‘inquiring minds want to know’.  Their members deserve to know where a huge portion of AARP’s funding is coming from.  Their members ought to know that they are paying a premium for the service they’re receiving under the AARP brand.”

“AARP needs to be honest with its members, as we’re hearing conflicting reports from its partners on how the current health care reform will affect plans and people who participate in them,” Reichert said. “AARP’s support for the current proposal, which includes drastic Medicare cuts, doesn’t make sense until you look at the bottom line and where much of its revenue comes from. Selling Medigap insurance appears to be AARP’s bread and butter – which is convenient when that insurance becomes essential for thousands of seniors who stand to lose their Medicare Advantage plans should this bill become law.”